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Bush tells Kremlin: 'do the math' over missiles

U.S. President George W. Bush has again tried to ease Moscow's concerns over a planned missile shield in Europe, saying the proposed system is not designed with a military conflict with Russia in mind.

Speaking at the National Defence University in Washington, Mr Bush said the limited scope of the shield was obviously not intended to counter Russia's “hundreds of missiles and thousands of warheads.”

“We are planning to deploy ten interceptors in Europe, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math,” he said.

The President said the shield was not designed to defend against an attack from Russia, adding that the Cold War was over.

“Russia is not our enemy,” he said.

Iran Threat

He said the U.S. and her NATO allies needed to be protected from the emerging threat of Iran, despite objections from Moscow.

The President warned that Iran could be capable of hitting the U.S. and Europe with an intercontinental ballistic missile before 2015 if it continues to get foreign assistance.

RT military analyst Evgeny Khrushchev said Mr Bush's speech contained nothing substantially new. 

However, he said Bush came close to naming Russia as a key ally, similar to Turkey or Pakistan.  Khrushchev says this might raise some concerns in Moscow, as officials try to see how Russia is viewed by the White House. 

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Washington may delay activation of components of the anti-missile system in the Czech Republic and Poland if Russia co-operates. However, Washington defence analyst John Pike says the U.S. proposal to delay activation of the anti-missile shield is unlikely to be taken seriously by Moscow.